Carroll Fares Favorably In Latest Round Of Redistricting

AS I SEE IT

Additional Delegate Will Give County More Influence

March 29, 1992|By Sharon Hornberger

One man, one vote is the principle the founders of our country used as a basis for our government.

This is the reason that after everydecennial census, the General Assembly must redraw the congressionaland legislative districts within Carroll and Maryland.

That has been dictated by Congress as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ideally, the process works to ensure that every citizen has equal and fair representation. Population changes -- people move, people die.

An area that in 1980 had 50,000 people might have a population of 100,000 in 1992.

Such an area has increased in population,and deserves to increase its representation in government in turn.

Carroll's District 5 -- the eastern and southern part of the county-- will consist of 99,034 voters.

The district will lose the current Baltimore County portion and add the Myers district in North Carroll and the Mount Airy district in South Carroll. The new boundaries will take effect with the 1994 state election, barring legal action.

In 1980, Carroll County had roughly 69,000 citizens. According to the 1990 census, we now have more than 120,000 people. Yet we still have the same amount of representation in Annapolis.

Under the proposal presented by the Governor's Redistricting Committee, Carroll would have at long last a full legislative district wholly within the county's boundaries. This would be a first since the 1960s.

Carroll legislators praised this plan, saying that it will give the county more influence in the legislature by adding a third delegate.

"I'm happy, particularly when you have counties like Baltimore and Howard split into many districts," Del. Richard Dixon, D-Carroll said.

"We're in an extremely favorable position. It's a big win for us."

Baltimore County legislators and citizens have decided to take the redistricting plan to court.

Because of the loss of voters in Baltimore City, the committee opted to extend the city's district lines into the county. Under

the new plan, there are now six districts sharedby the county and city, with four of them dominated by city voters.

Carroll could have fared much worse, however. Some delegates and senators found themselves in completely new districts.

Sen. Janice Piccinini of the 10th District found herself in the newly created 9thDistrict, dominated by Timonium. Most of her 10th District is now inthe boundaries of the new 11th District (the 10th no longer exists).

Del. Martin Madden from Howard found 23 of the 24 precincts in the county he now represents to have been completely stripped from him.

Other counties fared much worse in the redistricting.

In contrast, Carroll's legislative delegation will have added presence and added influence.

An increase of just one person in a group of 141 House of Delegates members can have an added voice for Carroll.

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